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Orsogna: New Zealand's First Italian Battle
by Jeffrey Plowman

ISBN: 9781877427329
PUBLISHER: Willsonscott Publishing
FORMAT: Hardback
PAGES: 168
DIMENSIONS: 260mmX210mm 850grams

The New Zealand Division arrived in Orsogna in November 1943. The furlough scheme that the government had initiated had been intended to give its front line soldiers a rest from the fray, but it backfired. Many did not want to return, especially after seeing what they termed bludgers avoiding the war in their so-called safe jobs. After interning some soldiers, the government was forced to back down and instead released personnel in defensive roles in New Zealand for service overseas. So by the time the division got to Italy there were few of the old digs left who had seen service in mainland Europe, let alone in the desert. For many New Zealanders of the Division this was their first taste of a European war. At least now the Division had its own armour. Not a British armoured brigade tacked on to provide support, but tanks crewed by New Zealanders, some of them former infantrymen, such as those from the 19 Battalion, who knew what it was like to go into action without tank support, and wanted to make a difference.

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